Research, development and product testing – a pre-requisite to quality technology innovations!

Jabra – products with research & development at their core!

In the 2013 R&D Trends Forecast* it was found that only 31% of respondents expected a minimal increase in their R&D spend this year, where businesses indicated that they will only be spending *267% on R&D as opposed to 70% in 2012. This is surprising if we consider the very saturated market businesses find themselves in, where innovation is the driving force for product uptake. Surely, R&D needs to remain constant – with a strong focus on creating products that are underpinned by quality, durability and have the consumers’ lifestyle needs at their core?

“Having been in the communications field for over 140 years originally, as a telegraph company, it is this exact thinking that we build our business on at Jabra,” says Ahmed Elkalliny, Middle East & Africa Area Director at Jabra. Being the world’s largest Bluetooth headset provider, Jabra’s commitment to delivering on its quality promise includes extensive and continuous research and development with facilities in Denmark and China, where the company works around the clock to ensure best-in-class functionality and bringing new technologies to market, responsively.”

Jabra’s R&D centres in fact, are one of the world’s most sophisticated lab facilities for testing of audio and radio performance and for R&D specifically thanks to the heritage of its sister company, GN Netcom – a world leader in hearing aid technology. The labs consist of several specialised units including anechoic chambers and EMC test chambers. In addition, there are several small state of the art laboratories, working with sound and advanced radio technology where Jabra engineers develop new products, equipment and technologies. The labs are used to simulate rough operating conditions that headsets may be exposed to in everyday use.

“We have ensured that through our R&D, we are testing and expanding on optimising product weight, durability and sound quality to really adapt to our consumer’s lifestyle requirements,” continues Elkaliny. “We have made sure that our research, development and testing all happen in one place which enables faster and easier development, prototype production and functional testing – a unique production cycle in the larger technology environment.”

Jabra aims to ensure that no headset leaves the research lab until it is checked for audio, build and comfort.

First and foremost is sound quality, clarity and durability. The audio quality is alpha and omega and as a result, sound has become much more complex in telecommunications which means that there are a lot of specifications that need to be met and a lot of parameters that have to be tested to get the best possible sound. But of course, overall build and comfort also form a cornerstone to the brand’s success.

“To ensure the very best in quality design, the products are drop, bend, shock, water, dust and pull tested at high levels to ensure ultimate durability. And of course, when it comes to sound testing, the utmost precaution is taken to ensure sound protection and noise blocking without compromising clarity and volume – resultant from our experience through the GN Netcom Group,” continues Elkalliny. “In fact, testament to this, certain product lines have yielded a return rate of less than 0.1% after a year of market introduction.”

The Jabra research labs is where the company’s innovation comes to life, resulting in a number of market firsts including: first contact center headset with a touch screen, first contact center headset with 360° rotation boom arm, first Bluetooth 1.1, 1.2, and 2.0 headsets launched to market, first ever mobile phone Bluetooth headset, and first noise-cancelling microphone. This success is supported by a state-of-the-art centre that boasts specialised scientific, R&D, administrative and repair personnel and – through the company’s knowledge in the field of ergonomics – providing a highly functional, ergonomically designed workplace solution for the staff. The company’s innovations have received many recognition awards including CES innovation awards and Red Dot Design awards.

“So before you buy your next headphone or headset consider this – is it innovative by virtue of stringent R&D and is it maximised to stand the test of time? If not, perhaps it’s time you look for a manufacturer that is committed to ensuring the product is built and optimised to centre around your lifestyle!” concludes Elkalliny.

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Research, development and product testing – a pre-requisite to quality technology innovations!